Monday, June 09, 2014

'Live Well Network' plug pulled by Disney-ABC Television Group

Disney-ABC Television Group announces shut down of .2 Live Well Network

UPDATE January 16, 2015
ABC’s Live Well Network isn’t dead yet

Michael Malone of Broadcasting and Cable reports the Disney-ABC Television Group .2 sub-channel Live Well Network will be closing down at the beginning of 2015 so ABC stations like KTRK in Houston can focus on local programming. In Houston, the network airs on 13.2/13.3 and Comcast cable.

ABC will discontinue its homegrown digi-net Live Well Network in mid-January. Focused on food, fashion and travel, Live Well was viewed as an example of what broadcasters could pull off in the multicast space, with original programming and partner stations both within the ABC owned group and outside of it. But the numbers were not working for ABC.

“Despite Live Well's tremendous accomplishments in distribution and original programming, we made a strategic decision that our priority must be local content, and we want to maximize our investment in our core local news brands in the digital space,” said Rebecca Campbell (pictured), president of ABC Owned Television Stations, and Peggy Allen, Live Well VP of programming and operations, in a letter to Live Well partners.

Rebecca Spera
Rebecca Spera
The network started in 2009 as Live Well HD.

KTRK produces one of the original shows left on air called Mirror Mirror hosted by former KHOU 11 Great Day Houston contributor Rebecca Spera. In 2011, Katishia Cosley joined the network as NewsFix took over CW39 KIAH where she had been weekend anchor to host Deals.

Katishia Cosley
Katishia Cosley
We will have to see what happens to the staff in Houston that produces these shows. Will KTRK just move them to new duties or new departments? Spera has already filled in for Don Nelson on morning traffic so that could be a future gig for her. Cosley originally started in Houston at KTRK, before KIAH, as a temporary reporter.

ABC is not saying what will replace the network, but I'm going to take a guess and say the new ABC News/Univision produced Fusion network.

Stay tuned.

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